How to make apple cranberry cobbler

JamieTurner Mar 1, 2008 Food
Apples and cranberries are a well-loved combination. This is a great cold weather dessert that’s perfect for the holiday table. Cobblers are like deep-dish pies except that they have no bottom crust. Traditionally, cobblers have been topped with biscuit dough, however, this recipe is topped with a light buttermilk cake batter which makes for a more balanced dessert. Serves 12.

Things you’ll need

  • electric mixer
  • sharp French knife
  • 2½ qt. shallow baking dish
  • rubber spatula
  • peeler
  • citrus zester or fine grater


  • 8 tbsp. (¼ lb.) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • 1 package (12 oz.) cranberries
  • 4 medium-size tart apples, Pippin or Granny Smith
  • 4 limes
  • ½ cup sugar 

Procedure Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients from the batter recipe in a bowl and set aside. Warm the buttermilk just enough to remove the chill from it.
  2. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise, then in quarters crosswise (each piece should be about twice the size of a single cranberry). Place the apples with the cranberries in a mixing bowl, and sprinkle on the sugar. Toss to coat the fruit. Zest the limes and set the zest aside. Squeeze the juice from the limes into the bowl. Spread the fruit mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Put the butter and sugar into the mixing bowl for the mixer and beat at a medium speed until the color and texture is very, very light—about 10 minutes.
  4. When the butter is light, add the egg and the lime zest. Mix well. Turn the mixer down to the lowest speed and slowly pour in ¼ of the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with the spatula. Add ¼ of the buttermilk and continue mixing on low until smooth.
  5. Continue the process of adding a little more of the dry ingredients and mixing on the lowest speed, then stopping the mixer and scraping the bowl, then adding a little more of the buttermilk to mix again until smooth. When finished, the mixture should be very smooth and light, looking like a butter cream. 
  6. Remove the fruit from the refrigerator. With the spatula, pick up a dollop of batter and let the batter slide off in a broad ribbon on top of the fruit. Use a slow, sweeping motion and keep the spatula about 1 inch above the baking dish. Continue dropping the batter gently onto the fruit until you have covered the whole surface except for a 1-inch strip around the edges which you should leave bare. Do not spread the batter or smooth it after letting it drop into the dish.
  7. Bake the cobbler uncovered until the topping is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly, about 45 minutes. If you’re not absolutely sure the topping is done, pierce it with a knife and look to see that no wet batter is left.


  • The trick to making cobblers is keeping the batter on top of the fruit. If it seeps down and bakes around the fruit you’ll have a tasty cake but you won’t have a cobbler.
  • Make sure to beat the butter and sugar until they’re very, very light.
  • Leave a 1-inch border around the batter so that it can expand as it bakes without spreading down the sides of the dish.
  • If you want to dress up this fantastic dessert, serve warm with ice cream or lightly whipped, unsweetened cream.


  • Don’t spread the cake batter over the fruit. Let it drop lightly in place from your rubber scraper, and once it’s settled, don’t try to smooth or move it.
  • If you choose to use table salt instead of kosher salt, cut the quantity in half or it will be too much.


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  • Last Updated : Mar 1, 2008